We want to create places that reflect the personalities and values of the people who will use them. To achieve this we design through a process of dialogue and co-creation. We start by asking questions, playing games and testing scenarios. We design together: informed by the ideas and ambitions everyone brings to the project.
From this emerges buildings and spaces full of playfulness and spirit - celebrating uniqueness and difference and resonating with the people that live/work/play in them.
Putting people at the centre of the process creates stronger communities, better and more sustainable buildings and healthier and happier lives.
We are a diverse and curious team. Our clients have been similarly diverse and our process and approach have helped support different voices and requirements and transform them into compelling spaces.
We have run workshops, engagement events and mentoring programmes through project work and as part of our commitment to providing social value and broadening the diversity of our profession.
Our briefing game is at the heart of our process. It's a tool we've developed over many years through our work with families and homeowners. It has evolved and become more adaptable and flexible and has since delivered huge benefits to businesses, private and public institutions. It's a playful and intuitive way for us to explore ambitions and needs which brings everyone into the process of identifying a project's scope, purpose and spirit.
We explore how existing spaces are used and how people live/work/play together. We then look at how this might be improved and transformed in the future through the project we create together.
This briefing process also brings clients and stakeholders inside the design process - empowering them to understand the challenges and issues that will need to be resolved. It helps set a tone of collaboration and co-creation for the rest of the project.
We are passionate about sharing the transformative power of architecture with the next generation. We have been part of school outreach programmes for a number of years and been RIBA School Ambassadors, part of Open City in Schools programme as well as running a number of workshops. Recognising architecture's issues with elitism and a lack of diversity, we have delivered these programmes in some of London's most deprived and diverse areas.
We make these sessions as interactive and fun as we can. We give the pupils projects and encourage them to make, collaborate and imagine. We work with teachers and staff to ensure the session supports and complies with their requirements to delivery core curriculum subjects.
Feedback has always been hugely positive and we hope we can open up the possibility of a career in design or construction to the children who take part.
The importance of engaging positively with the people and communities who will use or live close to a project can't be overstated. We aim to go beyond traditional 'consultation' to bring communities inside the design process as partners and co-creators.
Through our work on housing projects in Hounslow & Southwark and public realm in Becontree, we have run workshops and events that invited people to actively inform the design as it evolved. At Becontree this involved three separate workshops with a school, a group of young adults and a tea group for older residents. These workshops had a material impact on our designs and created a hugely positive momentum around the project.
We have led this process for our own projects as well as supporting larger practices and teams on collaborative bids and delivery. Our skill lies in turning the engagement into meaningful and measurable outcomes.
Architecture as a profession is significantly under-represented by women, people of colour and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Changing this requires positive action. We have been part of the Re-Set-Go programme for which we ran a workshop alongside ZCD Architects inviting local young adults to analyse and propose interventions around Rye Lane in Peckham. We have also been part of Open City's Accelerate programme where we took a large group of young adults on a walking tour of Becontree to explain our work there and then encouraged them to explore the area through drawing and discussion.
We mentor a number of work experience students in the practice. We ask local schools to invite students to submit expressions of interest rather than taking personal requests from friends and family. Nim and Tim are both mentors for the Blueprint programme (formally Stephen Lawrence Trust) which focuses on mentoring students from minority backgrounds to enter and excel in the field of architecture.